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How Mindful Meditation Can Help in Recovery

Addiction Treatment
Jan Trobisch

Jan Trobisch

Meditation for Addiction Recovery

 

Influenced by Buddhist ideology and Greek stoicism, mindful meditation involves deliberately and nonjudgmentally focusing on what you are feeling and experiencing in the present moment. Instead of running away from an unpleasant situation, escaping with drugs and alcohol or making impulsive decisions, someone practicing mindful meditation quietly considers what is happening externally while monitoring their emotions and thoughts objectively.

Although it may seem that mindful meditation appears to be advocating apathy or suppressing emotions, it is just the opposite. When you mindfully meditate, you are actually absorbing all your feelings, acknowledging their existence and then rationally deciding how you will respond to stressful situations.

Like other holistic addiction therapies such as yoga, relaxation techniques and eco-therapy, anyone can learn mindful meditation and use it anytime unsettling emotions that could cause a relapse arise. Mindful meditation works so well and is so popular among our clients at Synergy Recovery Services that many people coming to our center for aesthetic and weight loss services also want to learn about mindful meditation — and, of course, we are more than happy to teach them.

Meditation and Recovery From Addiction — What’s the Connection?

In many ways, mindful meditation is the antithesis to substance addiction. As addiction develops into a series of automatic behaviors designed to escape unbearable emotions or situations, mindful meditation demands the person consciously attends to these unbearable feelings as a way to understand and neutralize their destructiveness. Mindfulness also helps interrupt automatic behavior patterns leading to substance abuse.

Recovering addicts must deal with feelings of guilt, shame and remorse for things they did in the past as addicts. Through mindful meditation, they learn to have compassion and patience with themselves and empathy for others who may harbor resentment toward them.

Practicing mindful meditation also provides recovering addicts with the opportunity to objectively evaluate their past as an addict and take responsibility for actions that may have hurt others. This kind of deep introspection is both cathartic and therapeutic, empowering them to make long-term life changes and achieve future goals.

Rewiring the Brain With Mindful Meditation and Recovery Therapy

When they are unsuccessful at changing negative personality traits and behaviors, many people simply say “I can’t change. It’s just who I am.” However, psychology studies involving temperament have discovered that temperament is fluid throughout the human lifespan. In fact, one study found that subjects practicing mindful meditation for less than two months found alterations in their brains’ neural pathways, specifically in the insular and prefrontal cortex regions. By making increasing gray matter thickness in these regions, subjects reported feeling an improved sense of well-being, greater control over their emotions and enhanced creativity.

Addiction research further supports the inclusion of mindful meditation in a recovery program as an adjunct to cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and other evidence-based therapies. By learning not to be afraid of engaging in self-awareness and self-acceptance at the deepest level, clients in Synergy Recovery Services addiction programs can employ mindful meditation techniques as their primary preventative for relapse.

Learn more about the benefits of mindful meditation techniques in recovery by calling us today at 661-878-9930.